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Response from Main Roads 9-1-08

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  • Response from Main Roads 9-1-08

    It seems to be the day for responses and this one is rather long and quotes ALOT of statistics that will take a while to digest and go through but the email goes like this:

    Benjamin

    In response to your E-Mail of January 7th, 2008 I provide the following comments.

    Firstly it is unfortunate that another motorcyclist has lost their life on the road network.

    There are a number of mis-conceptions regarding road safety barriers and in particular of wire rope barrier and I have put together a number of bullet points below which deal with the ones more commonly raised about these issues.

    Before listing these you may be aware that Main Roads has had meetings with the Motorcycle Riders Association of WA about motorcyclists and road safety barriers and a project is currently underway in which protective treatments for wire rope barriers is being investigated. However, there are limitations to these protective treatments which is explained in detail below.

    · Ideally all roads would have a clear zone in all directions to allow errant vehicles to come to a relatively safe stop. (Note the clear zone is a function of vehicle speed, number of vehicles and the road geometry.) In practice this is not always possible and under certain circumstances, safety barriers are installed to minimise the risk to all road users.


    · Barriers themselves are a hazard, but they are only installed where the overall risk of not installing them is higher than the consequences of a collision with the hazard that they are installed to protect e.g. roadside objects or oncoming traffic.

    · The incidence of motorcyclists hitting safety barriers is a very small part of the total motorcycle crash problem and is an even smaller part of the total overall vehicle crash problem.

    · Unfortunately there are some recent examples in WA of motorcyclists being killed or severely injured after colliding with W-Beam barriers.

    · A 2006 study by Monash University Accident Research Centre (Report No. 260 Intelligent Transport Systems and Motorcycle Safety) found that for motorcycle crashes in Victoria for the five year period January 2000-December 2004 that 60.7% of all fatal motorcyclist crashes and 53.6% of all serious crashes involved on-road crashes. Off-road crashes (of which only a small percentage would involve a barrier) were 42.3 % fatalities and 54.2 % serious injuries.

    · The study titled “Motorcycle Impacts To Roadside Barriers – Real World Accident Studies, Crash Tests and Simulations Carried Out in Germany and Australia 2005” revealed that the risk for motorcyclists of being injured when colliding with either a wire rope or a concrete barrier will be high.

    · Wire rope safety barriers generally have superior performance or containment characteristics to other barrier types in most situations. This point is supported by the president of the Tasmanian Motorcycle Council, Mr Shaun Lennard who was quoted in the Mercury Newspaper on 6 September 2006 as saying “Although we're not particularly excited about a proliferation of wire ropes, we understand and accept that in many situations it is the best application.”

    · Wire rope barriers are only one of the types of road safety barriers used by Main Roads Western Australia.

    · Road safety barriers before they are approved for use are crash tested and are evaluated in three areas to ensure that they will perform the necessary role of protecting vehicle occupants. Currently there is no agreed method (in the world) for assessing the performance of road safety barriers for motorcyclists.

    · The areas are:
    1. Structural adequacy
    2. Vehicle trajectory
    3. Occupant risk (this deals with detached elements penetrating the vehicle and forces that the vehicle occupant is subjected to so that the crash is survivable)

    · Unlike cars (and trucks) there is no standard test for assessing the relative safety of road safety barrier systems for motorcyclists. Some testing has been undertaken in Europe with the motorcyclist impacting at differing angles and typically has the motorcyclist sliding into the barrier (this is a different scenario to that found in the recent APROSYS work outlined below). What testing has been undertaken for motorcyclists is for 60 km/h.

    · A March 2006 report by APROSYS – Integrated Project on Advanced Protection Systems (http://www.aprosys.com/Documents/del...P_SP4_0003.pdf) which investigates motorcyclists crashes with barrier contains the following statement in relation to motorcyclists and barriers:

    “Four in-depth accident databases were analysed focusing on infrastructure involvement. The amount of data available for this analysis was rather small. Roadside-barrier impacts occurred under small angles at high speeds, and more often in upright position rather than sliding on the ground. These impacts most caused injuries to the head and lower extremities. There are indications of trees and poles being even more hazardous to PTW (powered two wheel vehicles) riders when being hit.”

    · Within Europe a number of products have been developed that would appear to improve the safety of barriers for motorcyclists but it is not clear how these products will affect the performance of the system for other users and at what speed they can offer protection for a motorcyclists. They have been tested for 60 km/h but there is conjecture if they will change the outcome of a crash at speeds in excess of 70 km if the motorcyclist hits in the area of head, neck or chest.

    · The Australian Standard for Road Safety Barrier AS 3845 (which contains the requirement for crash testing of barriers) is currently under review and Main Roads as well as Mr Brian Wood from the Australian Motorcycle Council is on the committee. The issue of motorcyclist safety and road safety barriers is one of the topics for consideration by the committee.

    · Products that can be demonstrated to reduce motorcyclist injuries (whilst not reducing the effectiveness of the system for other users) would be used where the risk of a collision by a motorcyclist is high (i.e. larger number of motorcyclists on the road or where there is specific road geometry that would increase the likelihood of a crash).

    · Whilst wire rope barriers are the cheapest in terms of the initial supply cost this is not the overriding reason they are used. In terms of the safety of vehicle occupants they provide the lowest occupant risk compared to other barrier types and they have the ability to contain and redirect vehicles much greater in mass than what they have been crash tested to.

    · Whilst during an impact a longer length of wire rope barrier is damaged than other barrier types such as W-Beam or Thrie Beam they are more quickly repaired than other barrier types (with the exception of concrete barriers which typically require no maintenance after impact).

    I am happy to forward to you copies of reports referred to in this E-Mail if this is of interest to you.

    Regards

    Mr Jan Karpinski
    Strategic Asset Manager Engineer
    Main Roads Western Australia
    I am going to request copies of the reports they had found, just to make them do some work at the very least. At least this report shouldnt cost $120 to get a copy.

    Cheers

    Ben

  • #2
    I have shot this email off requesting information and see if there are guidelines for installation of these barriers that can be made available.

    I would appreciate if you could forward copies of the reports to my email address as I am extremely interested in investigating these reports.

    Also it is good to know that your department endorses correct installation procedures for all barriers implemented in Western Australia, I just wonder if there are guidelines available to look into also as there are a wide number of barriers that do not seem to be implemented in a logical fashion and seem to protect the vehicle from nothing of danger.

    Regards
    - Ben

    Comment


    • #3
      white text makes chyna a sad panda

      Products that can be demonstrated to reduce motorcyclist injuries (whilst not reducing the effectiveness of the system for other users) would be used where the risk of a collision by a motorcyclist is high (i.e. larger number of motorcyclists on the road or where there is specific road geometry that would increase the likelihood of a crash).
      Hasn't the sale of motorcycles increased to something stupid like DOUBLE in the last year or so, due to rising fuel costs? This isn't fact obviously, I just thought I read this somewhere.

      Comment


      • #4
        I just want to say, Ben, you're a bloody champ for doing all the work you're doing in the name of rider safety.

        BIG UP YOURSELF

        Comment


        • #5
          Well I guess its a lot more helpful than the standard shit from the ORS. I've been thinking for a while that we should just bypass the arseclowns at the ORS and go straight to Main Roads, DPI and the Cops.

          OK, so they want to keep the wire rope barriers. So why can't they put a plastic coating over the wire rope so it doesnt cut and put a sheath over the posts (like the ones the MRA Prez was waving around at the wire rope protest ride last year).

          Oh, and:

          Wire rope fences tend to be the focus of many riders’ fears, although until recently most reviews indicated that it was in fact the upright posts, common to many designs, that cause the most severe injuries (Gibson & Benetatos, 2000; AGM, 2004). However, recent simulations comparing motorcyclist collisions with concrete and wire rope barriers have shown that while the risk of injury in impacts with either type of barrier will be high, there are grounds for concern about the additional risk associated with wire rope fences. It was found in the simulation studies that, in many cases, the motorcyclist’s extremities became caught between the wires, effectively guiding the motorcyclist into the posts. As a result of this snagging effect, the motorcycle and rider were subjected to large decelerations, and elevated injury risk for the rider (Berg et al., 2005).

          Comment


          • #6
            And top marks to Main Roads for a good response.
            Originally posted by zobo
            I'd be more prolific in answering but I thought of a use for the othe

            Comment


            • #7
              well, atleast mainroads dont have their heads up their arses.. unlike the ORS..

              Props !
              Come and see us in the 2011 Avon Descent - we're racing boat #234 !

              Comment


              • #8
                well done ben and it's good to see a real response!
                :awesome:

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have already recieved a response back from Main Roads with the documents I requested. I have put them up for everyone to go and have a looksee here:

                  http://members.ii.net/~munch/Documen...0AUSTRALIA.PDF

                  and

                  http://members.ii.net/~munch/Documents/PSB/muarc260.pdf

                  I have skimmed through the Monash Uni document before but will read it again. I have so much crap to read through now just to wade through their trollop.

                  The email I recieved back from them was rather informative into the rules and guidelines for barrier installations:

                  Benjamin

                  Please find attached a couple of reports referenced in my E-Mail.

                  I have already given you the web-link for the APROSYS report and as it is 8Mb in size thought it might be too much to send to your E-Mail address.

                  With respect to the appropriate use of barriers I can point you to the Main Roads website and the following documentation (due to the way that the Main Roads website works I cannot send you links to these documents).

                  www.mainroads.wa.gov.au
                  Then access the menu item
                  > Standards
                  > Road and Traffic Engineering
                  > Roadside Items

                  There are two web documents that might be of interest.

                  1. Guide to the Assessment of Roadside Hazards. In the 3rd paragraph of this document is a link to a 140 page PDF called Assessment of Roadside Hazards which gives the background to clear zones, hazards, severity etc as well as barriers.

                  2. Guide to the design of road safety barriers which outlines barrier types and end treatments approved by Main Roads.

                  Both of these documents have been written as supplements to the PDF document so unfortunately you need all three documents.

                  These guidelines apply typically to the Main Roads network (freeways, highways and state roads) and local government may or may not chose to use them.

                  These documents reflect our current guidance, unfortunately there are plenty of examples where barriers have been installed for the wrong reasons some of these are identified through road safety audits of the network and are prioritised as funds become available for rectification works.

                  Regards


                  Jan
                  It is local councils that are responsible for installing the barriers and MainRoads acknowledges that alot donot follow the guidelines appropriately.

                  Do you guys think it should be an online segment within say the MRAWA so we can identify councils who donot follow road-safety guidelines when creating roads and we can take action against perpetrating councils ? BillyWhizz ? Bueller Bueller ? Its like a bloody full-time job!

                  Cheers

                  Ben

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hmm Main Roads are much more helpful arent they. It would be nice to get them onside.

                    Originally posted by MuNches View Post
                    It is local councils that are responsible for installing the barriers and MainRoads acknowledges that alot donot follow the guidelines appropriately.
                    Wire rope barriers are all installed along freeways and highways (so called 'red roads' in the Metropolitan Region Scheme) over which Local Government has no jurisdiction. But the rest of them, yeah.

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                    • #11
                      got to admit, props to Main Roads. looks like they care about and acknowledge the risk to motorcyclists and are doing what they can to help us out, plus also caring enough to take the time to reply with a decent level answer.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MuNches View Post
                        Do you guys think it should be an online segment within say the MRAWA so we can identify councils who donot follow road-safety guidelines when creating roads and we can take action against perpetrating councils ? BillyWhizz ? Bueller Bueller ? Its like a bloody full-time job!
                        Cheers
                        Ben
                        Ben... big ups mate...
                        you give much of your personal time for good of others
                        On ya mate

                        The MRA has been out and about making notes, taking photos and submitting this to councils, mainroads and the ORS.. some of the things found were posts cemented in the ground, posts the wrong way round, illegal posts etc
                        I am not sure on results or actions by the above,
                        Real Men Ride Nakid
                        http://www.streetfighters.com.au

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Perhaps a little off topic and a little dated is another site that seems to understand and wishes to improve motorcycle safety:
                          Safer Roads

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well done guys, esp Ben. It's incredible to see men and women with such passion as everyone on this forum.

                            Keep fighting the good fight.

                            Also Billywhizz: How are the online signups going?
                            c o o l s t o r y b r o

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              good on ya Ben. will put my bit in too

                              Comment

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